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Harmar Bridge

Money for renovation of span an ongoing issue

December 6, 2013

It's been more than six years since the historic railroad bridge connecting downtown Marietta with Harmar Village was temporarily closed to pedestrian and bicycle traffic for eight months due to......

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Dec-06-13 5:54 PM

But back to the main subject, money. From the article: “In 2008 the bridge company and city, state and federal officials began discussions toward a complete renovation of the bridge. The total cost was estimated to be $1.7 million. The restoration plans have been shelved until funding can be obtained.”

Why didn’t the discussion continue to say something like, “but since that amount of money is so out of sight, why don’t we scale back and just shore up the ties, put a walkway on top, and raise money for only that and get us past the next 25 years?” What would be the cost -- $50,000, $100,000 --the same range as paving an alley?

Isn’t this just how the 7th, Greene, and Pike intersection developed: city and state officials getting together and ordering the whole enchilada instead of just adjusting the timing of the lights? So the whole enchilada requires Marietta to spend matching grants which should have been used, instead, to pave several alleys or streets.

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Dec-06-13 5:53 PM

Dolittle is so right; the view from the bridge is magic, especially at night. But bright overhead lights blind the viewer and totally eliminate the magic of the dark river/town/sky scenery. For improved safety, the least cost to the community, and the most flexibility to match the situation, those who use the bridge at night should plan ahead and carry a lightweight LED flashlight.

But if the bridge company or others must spend money on lights, install footlights just strong enough to light the walk. Install a night vision video camera to identify those who step out of line.

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Dec-06-13 4:18 PM

A camera wouldn't be that bad of an idea if they did it in a smart way. Don't make it just a security camera but the type that the public can access as well. Something that can show the surrounding area a little but still be good enough for people to keep an eye on the bridge.

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Dec-06-13 3:52 PM

tessie, contact the local troll union. they have families to feed and need the work. :-)

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Dec-06-13 2:48 PM

I say put a toll on the bridge to cross it. That way the people who want to use it will pay to fix it. Sort of like the bridge from Belpre to Parkersburg.

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Dec-06-13 1:27 PM

Cameras aren't that expensive. The answer is to be act to solve the problem before someone is seriously harmed while walking on that bridge. Whether it's the Harmar Bridge Company or the City of Marietta, negligence resulting in serious harm to a person will undoubtedly lead to a lawsuit.

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Dec-06-13 12:12 PM

I love that old bridge. I walked it most nights around 3:00AM in the 70's when I was going home after work. I always felt safe. A beautiful walk at that time of night. The river was forever changing night after night. But of course this is Marietta,Ohio.

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Dec-06-13 12:02 PM

@Beright that's why you carry a stick and jam it into the spokes as they ride by :)

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Dec-06-13 11:15 AM

Cameras = more money. I like the idea but it's not realistic.

What something like a kickstarter campaign to raise the money. I know it's not likely to succeed on a proiject like this, but maybe it will.

How about a walkway across the railroad ties like the Purple People Bridge in Cincinnati where people can walk and ride bikes easily and even have some of those tricycle cab services shuttling people across the river during downtown events?

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Dec-06-13 10:11 AM

That is unfortunate VoiceofReason. Surely there is a way to do more to make the bridge vandal-proof?

Maybe some well-placed surveillance cameras would help authorities catch the vandals? The problem could be solved fairly quickly and easily.

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Dec-06-13 9:24 AM

Unfortunately, Tessie, the bridge is a constant target of vandalism. What is repaired is likely to be broken again that same night.

It's discouraging when a group's hard work is undone by people who have no other purpose than to tear something up.


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Dec-06-13 8:31 AM

One operable light out of eight doesn't seem to me to be maintaining the bridge. I urge the responsible parties to fix this problem if you expect people to be safe crossing the bridge. It's truly an accident waiting to happen.

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Dec-06-13 7:19 AM

I have crossed that bridge hundreds of times. It never ceases to amaze me that a person riding a bike expects a person on foot to kind like hang over the side of the bridge railing in order for the Biker to keep riding without having to get off their bike. I have been jabbed numerous times in the ribs by a bikers handlebars by a rider that just expects the pedestrian to “give way” on the bridge or thinks that there is enough room on the walkway for him to pass a pedestrian without getting of their bikes.

Bikers should be urged to walk their bikes will passing pedestrians on the bridge.

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